Posted Date: April 8, 2011
William J. Taggart, Chief Operating Officer, Federal Student Aid
Subject: Potential Government Closure - Federal Student Aid Processing and Customer Service Guidance
In the event of a closure of the federal government (more commonly referred to as a shutdown or furlough), there will be minimal impact on schools, lenders and guaranty agencies and their ability to administer the Title IV Programs. While our federal offices would be closed during a federal government closure, the majority of our Title IV processors, call centers, and Web sites will remain operational. In this announcement, we provide operational guidance about Federal Student Aid's communications, customer service call centers, scheduled system outages, processing systems, Web sites, and training workshops should a federal government shutdown occur.
If a federal government shutdown occurs, we will operate as follows:
We will provide updated information related to the shutdown on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site, as feasible. We will not post routine guidance. Please monitor the IFAP Web site for further information, particularly following the reopening of the federal government.
Customer Service Call Centers
Most of our customer service call centers will remain open. For complete information regarding the operational status of the various customer service call centers, refer to the attachment to this announcement titled "Operational Status of Customer Service Call Centers During Federal Government Closure."
Scheduled System Outages
As described in the March 30, 2011 electronic announcement posted to the IFAP Web site, we have several system outages scheduled for Sunday, April 17, 2011. These outages and other weekly scheduled maintenance outages will occur, as planned.
Campus-Based Program Processing
The eCampus-Based (eCB) Web site will remain operational.
Schools can continue to make awards and disburse funds to students using their 2010-2011 allocations.
There will be no change to the April 22, 2011 deadline for 2011-2012 Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program community service waiver requests. For more information about this deadline, refer to the March 15, 2011 electronic announcement posted to the IFAP Web site.
Central Processing System (CPS)
FAFSA on the Web, the Federal Student Aid PIN Web site, and FAFSA4caster will be fully operational for students and parents. FAA Access to CPS Online (including the ISIR Analysis Tool and R2T4 on the Web) and the CPS Web Applications Demo System will be available to schools. CPS will accept data from schools and applicants and will process Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) and Student Aid Reports (SARs).
Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System
The COD System will continue to process Direct Loan promissory notes and will accept and process data from schools and send back responses/acknowledgments. Schools will be able to receive federal funds (see G5 information below).
Direct Loan Consolidation System
We will continue processing consolidation applications, and the Direct Consolidation Loans Web site will remain operational.
Electronic Application for Approval to Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid Programs (E-App)
The E-App Web site will remain operational.
Electronic Cohort Default Rate Appeals (eCDR Appeals)
The eCDR Appeals Web site will remain operational.
Federal Student Loan Servicing and Debt Collection Systems
All federal student loan servicing and debt collection systems and related Web sites will remain operational.
The G5 Web site will remain operational, and schools will be able to draw down funds.
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
The NSLDS Student Access Web site will be available to students and NSLDS Professional Access will be available to all users. NSLDS users will be able to request and receive both automated and on-demand reports. Data providers will be able to submit information to NSLDS.
Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG)
Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Processing
The Nelnet Total and Permanent Disability Servicer and the Veterans Disability Discharge Unit will process assignments and referrals.
School Eligibility, Oversight and Monitoring
Schools can continue to submit eligibility actions using ED's Web site http://www.eligcert.ed.gov.
Compliance audits and financial statements can be submitted through ED's Web site: http://www.ezaudit.ed.gov. All other inquiries can be sent to:
- Domestic Schools at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (202) 377-3173
- Foreign Schools at email@example.com or by phone at (202) 377-3168.
Any program reviews scheduled during a shutdown will be rescheduled.
Lender/Guaranty Agency Processing Functions
FFEL Program lenders and guaranty agencies should maintain all operational activities, including the filing of claims and their review and payment. Federal Student Aid will accept for processing the Lender’s Interest and Special Allowance Request and Report (ED Form 799/LaRS). Guaranty Agencies will be able to submit the Guaranty Agency Financial Report (Form 2000) but they will not be reviewed for further processing.
Regulatory Update 2011 Training Workshops
Regulatory Update 2011 Training Workshops scheduled during the shutdown will be cancelled. Following the reopening of the federal government, we will provide detailed information about our contingency plan for affected registrants. Please monitor the IFAP Web site for training announcements that will provide further information.
If a federal government shutdown does occur and you need assistance, contact the appropriate customer service call center. As explained above, most of our call centers will be open during a shutdown. Otherwise, we will be ready to serve you upon the federal government’s reopening.